When Roger Mills’s council employer thought he was skiving, he hired private detectives to spy on him.
After four months of surveillance, he was sacked for gross misconduct after spending time at home during work hours.
There was just one problem. Mr Mills had a long-standing arrangement allowing him to work from home.
Yesterday he won £66,000 in compensation from Mid Sussex District Council for unfair and wrongful dismissal.
A South London tribunal heard two former police officers were recruited by Mr Mills’s new boss Shaun Morley, who had ‘personal differences’ with the engineering support officer.
They were paid £2,000 of taxpayers’ money to follow Mr Mills, 56, between March and June 2008 and even monitored him out of office hours.
Mr Mills, of East Grinstead, West Sussex, had worked for the council for 14 years and had a spotless record. His field-based job involved supervising street cleaning and dealing with reports of flytipping and abandoned cars.
He was given permission to complete his paperwork from home in 1997 so his desk could be used by another employee.
Judge Mary Stacey said: ‘We conclude the surveillance of Mr Mills was not proportionate and was in breach of his right to privacy for a number of reasons.
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